I Love Lucy, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek?


The link between I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek creates an entertaining challenge for fans of The Original Series.

How does Ball, the I Love Lucy star, fit in with Star Trek?

Back in the 1960’s, Ball and her then-husband Desi Arnaz owned Desilu Studios. In 1966, the 16-year-old studio took a flyer on a guy named Gene Roddenberry and produced the first season of Star Trek.

Actors – particularly those who specialized in television shows – contracted to studios in those days. These actors could appear across a wide range of shows as supporting actors and guest stars. They performed a myriad of roles from backup characters to antagonists.

Desilu sold to Gulf+Western in 1967, but in ’66, they produced three exciting and challenging shows in Star Trek , Mission: Impossible and Mannix.

If you think Star Trek provided a glimpse of the future, Mission: Impossible offered spy gadgetry and thrills to a geo-political backdrop.

The biggest Trek-to-Mission crossover took place when Leonard Nimoy assumed the role of “The Great Paris” in Mission’s fourth and fifth seasons. His role replaced Martin Landau as a makeup artist and impersonator extraordinaire.

. Star Trek. S1E27. John Colicos. A

The notion of seeing Nimoy without his Vulcan gear proved a shock, but back in those days, with the Trek off the air, a familiar face offered some sense of hope that show might live on. Still, it’s interesting to see Nimoy taking on his role as Paris after admittedly subjugating his personal identity to his Vulcan alter-ego.

One of the greatest Trek-to-Mission-to-Mannix links belongs to John Colicos better known to TOS fans as Klingon Command Kor in the seminal episode Errand of Mercy.

Colicos enjoyed a prolific acting career, passing away in 2000 at the age of 71.

"“Good, honest hatred. Very refreshing,” Kor to the incognito Captain Kirk."

Colicos delivered a memorable Klingon line during his first encounter with an incognito Captain Kirk. “Good, honest hatred. Very refreshing.” Overall, his crisp, brash portrayal supplied TOS fans with the first encounter of a Klingon captain.

Colicos excelled in the role of bureaucrat and foreign officer. He performed in three different Mission: Impossible episodes:

  • The Reluctant Dragon in 196, as Commissioner Taal Jankowski
  • The Play in 1968, as Milos Kuro
  • The Flight in 1970, as Chief of Internal Security Manuel Ferrar.

He made seven appearances in Mannix, including a two-parter titled Race Against Time. Colicos played the role of heart surgeon Dr. Myles Considine. Mannix’s mission involved smuggling Considine into an authoritarian country to perform surgery on a revolutionary.

Digital Dancing from Data: Star Wars vs. Star Trek Dance Off

Tuning into old Mission: Impossible episodes offer a great variety – and longer run – than the three-season Star Trek Original Series. Why not see if you and your friends can spot and name the TOS characters present in almost every episode?

Of course, if you don’t have the inclination to binge, you can get all the data on the link between these two classic TV shows at Memory Alpha.